Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lichfield, who was acquainted both with Smith and Ducket; and declared, that, if the tale concerning Clarendon were forged, he should suspect Ducket of the falsehood; “ for Rag was a man of great veracity.”

Of Gilbert Walmsley, thus presented to my mind, let me indulge myself in the remembrance. I knew him very early: he was one of the first friends that literature procured me, and I hope that at least my gratitude made me worthy of his notice...

He was of an advanced age, and I was only not a boy; yet he never received my notions with contempt. He was a whig, with all the virulence and malevolence of his party; yet difference of opinion did not keep us apart. I honoured him, and he endured me.

He had mingled with the gay world, without exemption from its vices or its follies, but had never neglected the cultivation of his mind; his belief of Revelation was unshaken; his learning preserved his principles; he grew first regular, and then pious.

His studies had been so various, that I am not able to name a man of equal knowledge. His acquaintance with books was great; and what he did not immediately know, he could at least tell where to find. Such was his amplitude of learning, and such his copiousness of communi.cation, that it may be doubted whether a day now passes in which I have not some advantage from his friendship.

At this man's table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours, with companions such as are not often found; with one who has lengthened, and one who has gladdened life; with Dr. James, whose skill in physick will be long remembered; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend; but what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that stroke of death, which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the publick stock of harmless pleasure.

In the Library at Oxford is the following ludicrous analysis of Pocockius:

[ocr errors]

Ex AutograPHO.

[Sent by the Author to Mr. Urry.] OPUSCulum hoc, Halberdarie' amplissime, in lucem proferre hactenus distuli, judicii tui acumen subveritus magis quam bipennis. Tandem aliquando oden hanc ad te mitto sublimem, teneram, flebilem, suavem, qualem demum divinus (si Musis vacaret) scripsisset Gastrellus:* adeo scilicet sublimem ut inter legendum dormire, adeo flebilem ut ridere velis. Cujus elegantiam ut melius inspicias, versuum ordinem & materiam breviter referam. 1 mus versus de duobus præliis decantatis. 2dus & zus de Lotharingio, cuniculis subterraneis, saxis, ponto, hostibus, & Astâ. 4tas & 5tus de catenis, sudibus, uncis, draconibus, tigribus & crocodilis. 6us, 7us, gas, gus, de Gomorrhâ, de Babylone, Babele, & quodam domi suæ peregrino. 10", aliquid de quodam Pocockio.. 11", 12", de Syriâ, Solymâ. 13, 14, de Hoseâ, & quercu, & de juvene quodam valde sene. 15", 16", de Ætnâ, & quomodo Ætna Pocockio sit valde similis. . 1745, 18us, de tubâ, astro, umbrâ, flammis, rotis, Pocockio non neglecto. Cætera de Christianis, Ottomanis, Babyloniis, Arabibus, & gravissimâ agrorum melancholiâ; de Cæsare, Flacco,* Nestore, & miserando juvenis cujusdam florentissimi fato, anno ætatis suæ centesimo præmaturè abrepti. Quæ omnia cum accuratè expenderis, necesse est ut oden hanc meam ad. mirandâ planè varietate constare fatearis. Subitò ad Batavos proficiscor, lauro ab illis donandus. Prius vero Pembrochienses voco ad certamen Poeticum. Vale. Illustrissima tua deosculor crura.

E. Smith.

• Pro Flacco, ànimo paulo attentioré, scripsissem Marone.'

[ocr errors]

DUKE.

OF Mr. RICHARD Duke I can find few memorials. He was bred at Westminster* and Cambridge; and Jacob relates, that he was some time tutor to the duke of Richmond.

He appears from his writings to have been not ill qualified for poetical compositions; and being conscious of his powers, when he left the university, he enlisted himself among the wits.f He was the familiar friend of Otway; and was engaged, among other popular names, in the translations of Ovid and Juvenal. In his Review, though unfinished, are some vigorous lines. His poems are not below mediocrity; nor have I found much in them

to be prabelow mediocrit some vigorous : In his homes,

With the wit he seems to have shared the dissoluteness of the times; for some of his compositions are such as he must have reviewed with detestation in his later days, when he published those sermons which Felton has commended.

Perhaps, like some other foolish young men, he rather talked than liyed viciously, in an age when he that would be thought a wit was afraid to say his prayers; and whatever might have been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgment.

In 1683, being then master of arts and fellow of Trinity-college in Cambridge, he wrote a poem, on the marriage of the lady Anne with George prince of Denmark.

He took orders ; § and, being made prebendary of

• He was admitted there in 1670; was elected to Trinity-college, Cambridge, in 1675; and took his master's degree in 1682. N.

+ Floriana, a Pastoral, on the Death of the Dutchess of Southampton, published anonymously, in folio, May 17, 1681, was written by Richard Duke. M.

They make a part of a volume published by Tonson in 8vo. 1717, containing the Poems of the earl of Roscommon, and the duke of Buckingham's Essay on Poetry; but were first published in Dryden's Miscellany, as were most, if not all, of the poems of that collection. H.

He was presented to the rectory of Blaby in Leicestershire, in 1687-8; and obtained a prebend at Gloucester in 1688. N.

Gloucester, became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to queen Anne.

In 1710, he was presented by the bishop of Winchester to the wealthy living of Witney in Oxfordshire, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's Journal.

KING

nes

WILLIAM KING was born in London in 1663; the son of Ezekiel King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon.

From Westminster-school, where he was a scholar on the foundation, under the care of Dr. Busby, he was at eighteen elected to Christ-church, in 1681; where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity, that before he was eight years standing he had read over, and made remarks upon, twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts. The books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very large; for the calculator will find that he dispatched seven a day for every day of his eight years, with a remnant that more than satisfies most other students. He took his degrees in the most expensive manner, as a grand compounder; whence it is inferred that he inherited a considerable fortune.

In 1688, the same year in which he was made master of arts, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wickliffe; and, engaging in the study of the civil law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors' Commons.

He had already made some translations from the French, and written some humorous and satirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molesworth published his “ Account of Denmark,” in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt; and takes the opportunity of insinuating those wild principles, by which he supposes liberty to be established, and by which his adversaries suspect that all subordination and government is endangered. .

This book offended prince George; and the Danish minister presented a memorial against it. The principles of its authour did not please Dr. King; and therefore he undertook to confute part, and laugh at the rest. The controversy is now forgotten; and books of this kind seldom live long, when interest and resentment have ceased.

In 1697, he mingled in the controversy between Boyle and Bentley; and was one of those who tried what wit could perform in opposition to learning; on a question which learning alone could decide. .

In 1699, was published by him A Journey to London, after the method of Dr. Martin Lister, who had published “ A Journey to Paris.” And, in 1700, he satirised the Royal Society, at least Sir Hans Sloane their president, in two dialogues, intituled The Transactioneer.

Though he was a regular advocate in the courts of civil and canon law, he did not love his profession, nor indeed any kind of business which interrupted his voluntary dreams, or forced him to rouse from that indulgence in which only he could find delight. His reputation as a civilian was yet maintained by his judgments in the courts of delegates, and raised very high by the address and knowledge which he discovered in 1700, when he defended the earl of Anglesea against his lady, afterwards dutchess of Buckinghamshire, who sued for a divorce, and obtained it.

The expence of his pleasures, and neglect of business, had now lessened his revenues; and he was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, where, about 1702, he was made judge of the admiralty, commissioner of the

« PreviousContinue »